Incomprehensible TPP Secrecy

SUBHEAD: It is incomprehensible that the leaders of major corporate interests are writing the TPP.

By Deirdre Fulton on 5 January 2015 for Common Dreams -

Image above: The Council of Canadians outside the Delta Ottawa City Centre on July 7, 2014 to draw attention to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership talks taking place inside. From (
'It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while the elected officials of this country have little or no knowledge as to what is in it,' says senator Bernie Sanders
With Congress on the verge of taking up the controversial, corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is demanding that the chief trade representative for the United States turn over the full text of the proposed trade agreement.

"It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it," Sanders said in a letter (pdf) sent Monday to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

"Members of Congress must have the opportunity to read what is in the TPP and closely analyze the potential impact this free trade agreement would have on the American people long before the Senate votes to give the President fast track trade promotion authority."

Proponents of the pact, which would encompass 12 nations that represent 40 percent of the global economy, are pushing for a fast-track process that would hand over negotiating authority to President Barack Obama, who supports the deal. Critics claim the TPP poses threats to civil liberties, workers rights, public health, food safety, and global financial stability.

Sanders asked Froman to respond to his letter by January 16, 2015. If his request is denied, the senator vowed to introduce legislation that would require that the contents of any trade agreement that the U.S. is negotiating would have to be made public at the request of any member of Congress.

In addition, if Sanders' request is turned down, he asked Froman to spell out the legal basis for the denial.

"Please also explain why you think it is appropriate that the representatives of the largest financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, media conglomerates and other major corporate interests not only have access to some of these documents, but are also playing a major role in developing many of the key provisions in it," Sanders added. "Meanwhile, the people who will suffer the consequences of this treaty have been shut out of this process."

Just last week, Sanders penned an essay outlining the top ten reasons why the TPP must be defeated.

In December, a coalition of close to 50 groups called on trade ministers of countries negotiating the TPP to publish the current draft of the agreement, as well as all nations' negotiating positions.

So far, the only details that have been made public have come from leaked documents—representing a lack of transparency that Sanders described in his letter as "very troubling."

See also:

Ea O Ka Aina: The Pacific Pivot 6/26/14
The TPP which locks signatory nations  into a U.S. dominated trade framework.

Ea O Ka Aina: Earthday TPP Fukushima RIMPAC 4/22/14
Excuse us while we turn the Pacific Ocean into a radioactive ashtray.

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP true colors 2/26/14
The plan behind the TPP is to replace national sovereignty with multinational corporations.

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP - Poison for Resilience 1/15/14
Congress is about to vote on whether to fast-track the treaty to hand sovereignty to corporations.

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP - Corporate Domination 1/13/14
TPP is a dream of the 1% - A stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America.

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP is NAFTA on steroids 11/24/13
President Obama wants Congress to reauthorize TPP and negotiations in the future.

Ea O Ka Aina: With TPP Big Pharma & GMOs gain 11/14/13
WikiLeaks blew open the secret negotiations behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP & GMO labeling ban 10/18/13
Do leaked sections of the TPP's secret text suggest a ban on GMO labeling?

Ea O Ka Aina: TPP revealed once more 8/29/13
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is not about free trade. It's a corporate coup d'etat--against us!

Ea O Ka Aina: Green Shadow Cabinet 6/19/13
The Green Shadow Cabinet stands united in opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership

Ea O Ka Aina: Obama & Multi-Nationals in Pacific 11/25/12
Public interest groups have been warning that the TPP could result in millions of lost jobs.


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